So as I might have mentioned in the past I have made a full transition to every computer in my house to Linux (with the exception of my wife’s Mac, which she loves). The platform I have chosen after sampling many different releases is Ubuntu 11.04.
After a few hiccups getting important applications installed on my desktop and laptop that I use for particle physics work (Kerberos, ROOT, etc…all of which have now been resolved by either Ubuntu or the respective software release) I have been very impressed by the look and running of this OS. The installation on both my laptop and my desktop with dual screen was the easiest thing I’ve ever done in Linux. Gone is the day of having to hack away at your video card and wireless card to trick you computer into accepting Linux and letting you move on with your day.
Now Ubuntu has taken the next step and offers cloud storage FOR FREE! They call their service Ubuntu One and as of this last month you get 5 GB of free storage. Additionally they already offer streaming music to you Android mobile device along with the sync of your contacts. They are also developing the platform on the iPhone as well with that expected to come soon.
This feature alone has improved my work life 5 fold. Between going to meetings, traveling to and from the lab, and working from home I was always trying to remember which file on what computer was the most recent version of my thesis paper, analysis nTuple, or even event reduction table. Now I don’t have to worry about it, I just end my work session with allowing Ubuntu One to sync anything I chose to drop into the shared folder and then download it when I get home or to my laptop. Also the looming fear of a computer crashing and losing all my work is greatly diminished, a horror story I’ve heard from too many particle physics people.
The feature is expandable and for a low price they are offering up to 20 GB of cloud and streaming, however I expect that number to rise. If you have been looking to make the jump into Linux world and the world of free software and open source code, this distribution is for you.
Oh yeah, did I mention that they are allowing Ubuntu One to be open source development … so you know the world of users are only going to make this feature even better.